Kazakhstan and Belarus set to increase trade, economic cooperation

ASTANA (TCA) — On August 13, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev met with the Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov, who arrived in Kazakhstan on a working visit.

They discussed the implementation of the Plan of joint activities for 2017-2018 on the development of bilateral trade and economic relations, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

The sides also discussed the work of the Belarus-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation and the upcoming 13th meeting of the Commission, which will be held in Kazakhstan in September this year.

On the same day, Prime Ministers Sagintayev and Kobyakov took part in the Kazakhstan-Belarus Business Forum in Astana, which focused on expanding trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, including increased trade, investment cooperation and the development of transport and logistics infrastructure.

In Astana, Sagintayev and Kobyakov also visited the exhibition “Made in Belarus”, where the products of Belarusian manufacturers in the field of engineering, petrochemistry, transport, agriculture, light industry, medicine and pharmaceuticals, IT, as well as food products kand construction materials were demonstrated.

Belarus and Kazakhstan need to bring bilateral trade turnover back to US $1 billion per year, the prime minister of Belarus said at the exhibition, BELTA news agency reported.

“Kazakhstan is one of the main trading partners of Belarus, the third-largest among CIS countries. Unfortunately, in 2016 trade between our countries fell by 27 percent compared to the level of 2015, and amounted to $420 million. But trade figures for the first six months [of this year] show a trend of recovering bilateral trade,” Kobyakov said.

The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Belarus in January-May 2017 amounted to $207.8 million, an increase of 73% compared to the same period last year.

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Times of Central Asia